AFESIP Cambodia 

Acting for Women in Distressing Situations 

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This year as every year, we celebrate the International Women’s Day for residents in shelters aiming at empoweringand raising awareness of the in-centered residents about their fundamental rights as stated in the Cambodia Institution, Chapter 3, article 31 as saying: “The Kingdom of Cambodia recognizes and respects human rights as enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human rights and all the treaties and conventions related to human rights, women’s rights and children’s rights.”

At AFESIP Tomdy Center, participated as panel members at the event were Ms.Lin Sinoun, AFESIP Technical Coordinator;Mr. SomSophatra, Administration, Human Resource and Communication Coordinator;Mr. Mam Khon,Tomdy Center Manager and, 24 Village chief of Prey Sar Commune.

It is noted that 80% of the residents who presently stay at the center have never experienced this important event because they were in different forms of abusive situation.

Their shining and smiling faces proved that they were happy and determined to stay in order to attain new skills for their best future. They were happy to show their talents singing happy songs after speeches of each panelist as planned in the event program.

Mr. Mam Khon, Tomdy Center manager,in his beginning speech,recalled the history of the fight made by international women to gain their equal rights to men and later on the 1st International Women Day to be marked. He encouraged the residents to be strong like men and try to learn skills to empower themselves and to change for a better life.

Mr. Sophatra expressed the reason why we are doing this celebration is because we want to reaffirm our commitment to create an enabling environment for women to become better in what they do.In that way, they can help in uplifting the lives of their families and their communities.

Their bravery and strength to learn new skills give AFESIP managementfull hope. They allare taking part in the process of rehabilitation and resolution. He expressed regret that most of them are new arrivals and do not yet attend Policy and Minimum Standard for Protection of Victims of human trafficking. He promised to conduct the training to the residents this year in order to raise their awareness about their rights while living in the center.

The celebration ended in a very cordial and friendship atmosphere along with a dinner party and dance with all the residents and staff.

As well as at Siem Reap Center, 75 participants including panelists from various government and NGOs entities, 21 staff and 45 residents attended the event. A number of local government officials from village up to provincial levels participated, among those were provincial deputy governor; provincialLabor and Vocational Training Department; Welfare Bureau of Provincial Social Affairs Department; Provincial and City Women’s Affairsvillage, commune and police officials.

Mr. Monirath, Manager of the center told the participants, especially the residents about the history of 8 March’s event, why was it happened, how hard did the women in the past try to achieve their goals and then marked 8 March as international women day, while the effort to change the world in terms of rights to work,such as equal work, equal pay and 8 hours’ work daily, health care to mothers and children……He also made known that in 1911, international women conference was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, where women from 17 countries, participated and there they unanimously adopted 8 March as international women day.

Our external guests praised AFESIP Cambodia’s effort and commitment for its noble mission to save disadvantaged women, victims of human trafficking for sex slavery from the brink of hopeless life. They shared friendly talks with our residents, by encouraging them to learn harder in order to bring new life, new hope to each family, after completing the training in the center.

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